21 Defendants Convicted During Three-Year Investigation Into Drug Trafficking and Criminal Activities Led by Inmates Inside State Prison Walls Using Contraband Cell Phones
OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week, KEVIN VIGIL JR., 29, of Oklahoma City, and a member of the Southside Locos gang currently incarcerated in state prison, was sentenced to serve an additional 250 months in federal prison for his involvement in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
On December 4, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an 81-count Indictment charging Vigil and dozens of co-defendants with crimes related to a large-scale drug trafficking operation orchestrated from state prison. According to the Indictment, the operation primarily focused on distributing methamphetamine and heroin, using contraband cell phones from prison.
On July 29, 2020, Vigil pleaded guilty to Count 1 of the Indictment, alleging a drug conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The remaining counts of the Indictment pertaining to Vigil were dismissed pursuant to his guilty plea.
According to court documents and public records, Vigil is a member of the Southside Locos prison gang serving an 18-year sentence with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for several offenses, including assault and battery with a deadly weapon, following his shooting of a man in Oklahoma City in 2010. From 2018 to 2019, Vigil and other incarcerated Southside Locos gang members used non-incarcerated gang members and associates to facilitate the distribution of drugs, to collect drug-related proceeds, and to traffic firearms throughout Oklahoma.
On January 26, 2021, Senior U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced Vigil to serve 250 months in federal prison beginning after the completion of his time in state prison, which is currently scheduled to end in March 2026. Judge Friot also ordered 25 years of supervised release to follow the completion of Vigil's federal prison term. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Friot noted Vigil’s role in the gang organization and his continued propensity to engage in criminal activity despite incarceration. Vigil is the first defendant to be sentenced from this Indictment.
This case resulted from a nearly two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Oklahoma City Field Division, the Oklahoma City Police Department, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections—Security Threats Intelligence. The investigation ultimately led to the federal indictments of more than 40 defendants related to this drug trafficking enterprise. Thirty-five defendants have already pleaded guilty, and five defendants are still awaiting trial or plea hearings due to this investigation.
This prosecution is also a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Harley and David McCrary prosecuted the case.
Reference is made to public filings for more information. To download a photo of U.S. Attorney Downing, click here.